Sin and Punishment (2000)

by Christopher
6 minutes read


Sin and Punishment is celebrated for its intense gameplay, innovative control mechanics, and compelling story, securing its place as a beloved classic in the shoot ’em up genre.


A groundbreaking shoot ’em up experience, Sin and Punishment stands out as one of Treasure Co. Ltd.’s masterpieces, blending intense action with a compelling dystopian narrative.


“Sin and Punishment” is a rail shooter video game co-developed by Treasure and Nintendo for the Nintendo 64, originally released only in Japan in 2000. The game’s story takes place in the near future of 2007 when war breaks out as humanity is struggling with a global famine.

The player takes on the roles of Saki and Airan as they fight to save Earth from destruction. The game employs a unique scheme that uses both the D-pad and control stick on the Nintendo 64 controller, allowing players to maneuver the character while simultaneously aiming the targeting reticle. The player must shoot at enemies and projectiles while also dodging attacks to survive and progress through the game.

The development of “Sin and Punishment” lasted longer than usual for the era. Development commenced in 1997 with only four staff and concluded in 2000 with more people involved than in any of Treasure’s previous projects. The guiding inspiration to develop “Sin and Punishment” was the design of the Nintendo 64 controller. Treasure wanted to make a game that had the player holding the left side of the controller instead of the right which was typical across the system’s library.

The Treasure team encountered difficulties programming the game, citing the system’s complex 3D rendering capabilities and difficulties adapting 2D gameplay ideas into 3D environments. Despite these challenges, “Sin and Punishment” was released to positive reviews. Critics highlighted the game’s intensity and flashy graphics, and particularly pointed out Treasure’s ability to reduce the game’s polygon count to maintain smooth gameplay action while still keeping the graphics stylish.

Since the game was never released in the West, it grew a cult following among import gamers, and it quickly became one of the most demanded titles for the Wii Virtual Console after its announcement. It was finally released in western territories through the Virtual Console in 2007 to positive reviews. In retrospect, “Sin and Punishment” is considered one of the best Nintendo 64 games. It was ported to the iQue Player in China in 2004, and a sequel was released for the Wii in 2009, “Sin & Punishment: Star Successor”.


The game centers around two young resistance fighters, equipped with firearms and psychic powers, battling against the Ruffians and corrupt military forces.


Features fast-paced shooting action with a unique control scheme for movement and aiming, set across diverse levels each culminating in epic boss fights.


Sin and Punishment remains a testament to Treasure’s ability to create engaging, challenging games that stand the test of time, offering a unique blend of action and story.

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